Klaas-Jan Huntelaar will not play again this year – regardless of the decision to have knee surgery – according to Schalke boss Jens Keller.
The 30-year-old striker has been struggling with his right knee in recent weeks but had hoped to return to full fitness for the upcoming Champions League fixture against Chelsea.
But the Netherland international suffered a major setback on Monday when Huntelaar limped out of training and the club indicated he may need surgery.
However, Keller has now confirmed Huntelaar will be unavailable for selection for the remainder of this year.
"It doesn't really matter what the decision is on Klaas-Jan Huntelaar," Keller said. “He can't play until Christmas. It doesn't matter if he decides to have an operation.
"He might recover without one. Both outcomes are possible. The decision has not been made yet.
"We didn't rush him back before he got injured. Usually an injury like his is fine after eight weeks. He felt good.
"He took part in everything and this setback was an accident. He collided with someone in a bad position. This would still have happened even if it was two weeks later."